Stage

Cirque Du Soleil Toruk: First Flight Review: The Greatest Thing Since Avatar

toruk banner

Some things just make sense together.  Enya and Lord of the Rings.  Lana Del Rey and The Great Gatsby.  Avatar and Cirque Du Soleil.

For their latest tour, Cirque Du Soleil animates the celestial world of James Cameron’s Avatar.  And they do not disappoint.

Toruk rainforest

Set 3,000 years before the film, Toruk follows a trio of young Na’vi as they quest to tame a giant dragon bird (Toruk) and save the Tree of Souls from a volcano.   I’m not an expert in stage production, but I feel like Toruk does for shows what Avatar did for movies.  Not since The Lion King have I seen such innovative effects on stage.  The props, costumes, and puppetry are outstanding.  The set, which consists of projections on movable terrain, transforms.  A downloadable app makes the audience part of the show.  The app uses your phone’s microphone to pick up sound waves and choreographs your screen and flashlight to create shimmering lights and flowing lava.  It looks awesome.   The show has a lot going on, but that only means every angle has a visual treat.

Toruk has a strong narrative.  The show revolves around a story as opposed to circus acts.  Toruk’s greatest stunts come from sets and puppetry.  All those strange and beautiful creatures you remember from the film come alive in beautiful, terrifying puppet form.

Cirque Du Soleil, Toruk

The performers use gymnastics as their default movement. After all, the elegant, primitive nature of Cameron’s Na’vi lends itself perfectly to Cirque Du Soleil.  The incredibly talented athletes look perfectly natural in their airbrushed butts and blue face paint.  Avatar and Cirque Du Soleil: a match made by Eywa.

Here’s a Q&A to guide your experience:

Q: Where should I sit?

A: Spring for the pricey seats (up high, center stage) to take in the full spectacle.  Sit in the cheap seats (down low, on the sides) for an up- close appreciation of craftsmanship and facial expressions.

Q: Is it worth the price of a ticket?

A: Yes.

Q: Even a $115 ticket?

A: YES.

Q: Should I download the app?

A: Yes.

Q: What does the app do?

A:  The app programs your phone to create special effects at prime moments of the show.  Truthfully, it’s cooler to see other people’s phones than your own, but more phones mean cooler effects.

Q: How long is it?

A:  Two hours including intermission.

Q: Can I take my kids?

A:  Yes.  Kids will love this.  The show contains mild violence and sensuality.  The Lion King has more.

Q: Will I like this show if I didn’t like Avatar?

A: You didn’t like Avatar?  What’s wrong with you?

Q:  Where can I see it?

A:  These places and dates:

  • Tulsa, OK, United States
    From March 24 to 27, 2016
  • Kansas City, MO, United States

    March 31- April 3 2016

  • Oklahoma City, OK, United States
     April 6 – 10 2016
  • Louisville, KY, United States
    April 28 – May 1 2016
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
    May 4 – 8 2016
  • Columbus, OH, United States
    May 11- 15 2016
  • Hamilton, ON, Canada
    May 20- 22 2016
  • London, ON, Canada
     May 25- 29 2016
  • Providence, RI, United States
    June 1 – 5 2016
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
    June 8- 10 2016
  • Duluth, GA, United States
    June 15- 19 2016
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
     June 22- 26 2016
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
    June 30- July 3 2016
  • Denver, CO, United States
    Opens on July 21- 24 2016
  • Lincoln, NE, United States
    July 27-31 2016
  • Chicago, IL, United States
    August 3- 7 2016
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
    September 7-11 2016
  • Newark, NJ, United States
    Opens on September 15-18  2016

Q: Where can I buy tickets?

A: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk/tour-dates/.  Or buy at your local venue to avoid processing fees.

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